Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng has said that it regrets the loss of life following incidents of violence in Rust Ter Vaal earlier on Wednesday morning in which two people died in clashes, allegedly between security agency the Red Ants and land invaders in the area.
A member of the community and an employee working for the eviction company, the Red Ants, died during an eviction at Rust Ter Vaal in the Sedibeng region. People invaded the land in Rust Ter Vaal in the previous weeks and the Emfuleni Municipality had obtained a court order to evict them.
Emfuleni spokesperson Stanley Gaba said the situation remains volatile following attempts by the municipality to action a court order granted to remove land invaders in the area.
“In recent weeks, residents invaded land in the area and to curb the mushrooming of structures on the land, the municipality obtained a court order to remove the land invaders.
“It must be noted that the land in question is dolomitic and not habitable.”
The R82, an arterial road linking Vereeniging to Johannesburg, remains closed due to the public unrest.
Gaba said there was a heavy presence of law enforcement in the area and relevant authorities had started their investigations into the deaths.
Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, Uhuru Moiloa, called on the law enforcement agencies to take action against those responsible for the deaths.
Moiloa said that land invasion is a crime that will be never be accepted and those who invade land will be evicted.
“It is time that those who initiate land invasion are also prosecuted as they are the ones who led the people to their death. These so-called community leaders who thrive on creating anarchy must be exposed and they must face the full might of the law,” he said.
Moiloa said that a portion of land was identified for possible development in the south of Rust Ter Vaal, but it was discovered that this land is underlined with dolomite.
He said further studies are required in order to establish what measures should be taken should the department continue with development on this portion of land.
“Only the preliminary studies were completed, so the development is in its early stages of planning. Further, the subsidy quantum does not make provision for additional cost attached to dolomitic land. For this reason, an additional portion of land was identified in the vicinity of Rust Ter Vaal,” he said.
“Only a feasibility study was completed and no further studies were completed. It must be noted that the sewer will drain towards Midvaal sewer treatment plant which must be upgraded before development can take place in Rust Ter Vaal.”
– African News Agency (ANA)